Newcastle

On our first field trip day, the 2015 Vindolanda team headed to the “big” city to tour the Great North Museum, as well as the rest of Newcastle. It started off with an early rise, and we slowly dragged our tired feet into the very spacious EcoCab for the 9 am departure. For those of us who managed to stay awake for the hour long car ride, we were treated to spectacular views of the beautiful English Countryside. After seeing the difficult British terrain first hand, it makes one appreciate how laborious a task the Roman soldiers had of building the 80 mile long wall across Northern Britannia.

English Countryside
English Countryside

Once we arrived at the Museum we were treated to a mini-lecture from both Prof Meyer and Greene on the length, strategic positioning and defensive measures of Hadrian’s Wall. The museum had a fantastic visual model of the wall which displayed each fort, mile castle and turret from end-to-end. The visual coupled with the lecture helped the team put into perspective just how enormous the wall really is. 20150601_104347

We then were let loose on a scavenger hunt around the museum to find objects on display from Vindolanda and other related sites owned by the Vindolanda Trust.

Prof. Meyer & Greene deciphering alter statues
Prof. Meyer & Greene deciphering alter statues

Some took this matter more seriously than others…. (no dinosaurs were hurt in the process of this picture)

Couldn't resist the Dinosaurs...
Couldn’t resist the Dinosaurs…

Once the scavenger hunt was completed the team split up and ventured into Newcastle. The majority enjoyed a great meal at the world famous chef Jamie Oliver’s restaurant right outside Grey’s Monument. After some more sight-seeing in the city and some shopping for some replacement items for clothes forgotten at home we all piled up in the EcoCab and headed to South Shields to visit the Famous South Shields Gate and learn more about the site from Sarah and Mary.

Grey's Monument (centre) with Jamie Oliver's restaurant the building behind it with the dome (sadly he was not there to serve us)
Grey’s Monument (centre) with Jamie Oliver’s restaurant in the building behind it with the dome (sadly he was not there to serve us)

Looking forward to our first long hike tomorrow,

– Steve

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